The Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) reached another milestone on Friday, when the agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Grace Refinery Limited, a major interest of a venture capitalist consortium. Grace Refinery plans to invest $5 billion in Punjab in the coming period as part of an ambitious venture that will have a positive impact on both the economy and local population. The signing of the MoU once again underscores the growing importance of PBIT under the leadership of its Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Amena Cheema, who has completely revamped the agency since taking office last year. The six-person delegation of Grace Refinery was led by their Chairman, Mr. S. M. Ghaus that included Ms. Uzma Bashir, its Chief Executive Officer and Brig ® Shehzad Akhtar, the Project Director. Ms. Amena Cheema, Chief Executive Officer of PBIT welcomed the delegation and briefed them on the way forward in relation to their investment intention. Speaking on the occasion, CEO PBIT said that all credit for this latest achievement and the overall economic turnaround in Punjab goes to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for his visionary leadership. Over the past few months, CEO PBIT remained in close contact with Grace Refinery, holding several meetings and video-conferences with the management of Grace Refinery and their consultants in UK to convince them to invest in Punjab. Grace Refinery communicated their intentions for investment in Punjab during this week. Subsequent to decision, a meeting was held at PBIT office in Lahore and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between PBIT and Grace Refinery. Under the MoU, PBIT will act as one window facilitator for Grace Refinery toprovide all necessary support and facilitation to Grace Refinery in setting up its operations in Punjab and Pakistan. Grace Refinery will also be exploring petrochemical markets in Pakistan through their refinery to be established in Southern Punjab. Grace Refinery then intends to enter other market segments that include petrochemicals, oil marketing and power generation. The investments made by Grace Refinery will generate 50,000-70,000 new jobs and includes a plan to build a new state-of-the-art hospital for the community. Ms. Uzma Bashir, Chief Executive Officer, Grace Refinery, spoke about opportunities and prospects offered by Punjab and appreciated the efforts of CEO PBIT in realizing this investment in Punjab. She underscored the efforts of Grace Refinery management in channelizing these funds to Pakistan during this government’s regime. She also briefed that the refinery with 220,000 bspd capacity, being designed on Euro 6 standards, is with the vision to place Pakistan on the map of future technologies. She also disclosed that the Grace refinery management has requested their crude oil supplier to join hands in building an oil pipeline from the source into Pakistan for its feedstock. She expressed her confidence and faith in able management, quick response and governance of the province of Punjab. She also thanked Mr. Khalid Sherdil, Secretary Industries, for his logistical support while visiting the location of land. Ms. Amena Cheema, CEO PBIT, thanked the management of Grace Refinery and briefed them on the progress. She assured them of fast-track facilitation throughout the duration of the project.